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Summoner Wars (2012)» Forums » Strategy

Subject: iOS decklists that will put your opponent on blast rss

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Matt Connellan
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I have been very successful in Summoner Wars and I figured it was time to share some of my deckbuilding strategies. It has taken me a while to formulate some of these decklists, but some of them came much more naturally. I will start with my most successful deck and edit the OP with my other lists, if people seem interested.

Phoenix Elves - PE (yes, this is a really uninspired deck title)

Champions:

Holleas
Fire Drake
Maelena

Commons:

Warrior x5
Archer x2
Fencer x3
Fire Beast x5
Guardian x3

Analysis-

Why Holleas? She is actually the engine that drives this deck. If I get A Hero is Born early I will absolutely use it to pull her. Not only is she already a great bargain at 5 health 2 ranged for 4 magic, she is a moving wall capable of pumping out cheap Fire Beasts.

Why Fire Drake? This question really doesn't need to be answered. He's a monster, and a large reason why people can be successful playing Champion-only PE.

Why Maelena? Although I do think she is the weakest of the three and the one most easily replaced, she does have pretty good muscle. She hacks apart walls pretty steadily and is a threat to any Summoner/Champion that crosses her.

Why 5 Warriors? Honestly, I think Warriors are in the running for best common currently on iOS. 2 attack for one magic is great, and they also come with a super-versatile ability, allowing for great hit-and-run tactics or to allow Elien to get some massive shots in without having him take too much to the face.

Why 2 Archers? Because those are the two used in the opening setup and they won't let me take them out. Honestly, these guys aren't all that useful. They are too weak and too fragile to be much of a help, and while 4 range can be annoying against melee-heavy factions, they're not going to scratch them up much before they get in range and start pummeling you. Also, shooting at walls from 4 range does not protect from melee summons, unfortunately.

Why 3 Fencers? Well, because they're free, mostly. They're cheap fodder for when Elien is in trouble and they're a surprise when the opponent sees you're running on empty.

Why 5 Fire Beasts? Because these guys are beat sticks. I pretty much never hardcast these guys unless I can get a clean double/triple kill from their ability, but they're great when Holleas is calling them in.

Why 3 Guardians? I suppose I actually do build the extra two guardians for magic more often than not, but I feel like the factions they are good against (Cave Goblins, Benders, Cloaks) they are REALLY good against, so I keep them around to massage those matchups.

How I Play the Deck-

I try to get out Holleas out as soon as possible. the sooner the better, because she is a big bully. In fact, if you can get her out early, the amount of resources they have to devote to stemming the tide of flaming face stompers will almost certainly give you the win. Incidentally, I almost always build Fire Beasts for magic if I have them in hand, even with Holleas on the board. I want her to pull them from the deck. I use Warriors liberally, especially when it gives Elien the chance to get some action and come out unscathed. He's so strong it's a crime not to utilize him.

Matchups

Vs. Phoenix Elves - Holleas. PE doesn't really have a great answer to Fire Beasts other than Elien himself, and if you position them right you can make him pay for his hubris. Kaeseeall and Laleya are okay, but they're not too hard to kill in a turn or two.

Vs. Tundra Orcs - Warriors do most of the heavy lifting here. A pair can take down Smashers and they're great for whittling down walls without getting Sharded.

Vs. Guild Dwarves - Once again, Holleas. Just be careful with your walls, because PE NEEDS to keep Elien protected. Do not let Engineers or Catapults go unmolested.

Vs. Cave Goblins - Anything, really. Just keep an eye out for Goblin Rush shenanigans and you should roll right over them, especially with Guardians and Fire Drake.

Vs. Fallen Kingdom - Holleas is the answer once again. The Fire Beasts run roughshod over most FK units, especially Cultists. Fencers are pretty handy here, too.

Vs. Vanguard - They can be kind of a nuisance. One of the few matchups where Holleas isn't particularly strong. Try to get Elien to do some heavy lifting, but watch out if they're packing Cavalry or Archangel. Fencers are handy here, too.

Vs. Cloaks - Say it with me; Holleas! Cloaks can assassinate the Beasts, but that still goes magic even and if they're using Assassinate defensively here then you're in good shape. Cloaks are good at poking at Elien, so just keep him extra-protected.

Vs. Jungle Elves - Doesn't matter what you put into your deck for this matchup, you just have to play super-smart defensively, because one souped-up Lioneers can end you. Be afraid.

Vs. Benders - Guardians are very effective here, since missing a Breaker or a Deceiver can be disastrous. Holleas of course is effective, especially since Counter Summoning or Mind Controlling Fire Beasts is magic negative.

Vs. Mountain Vargath - I dare say this is the hardest matchup for my build. Beefy units surrounding and smashing my walls that can go toe-to-toe with Fire Beasts are not my idea of a good time. Just hit Sumderved as hard as you can as early as you can to make him skittish about supporting his units, and try to get Elien to pop some shots off. Oh yeah, watch out for Rushers...

Next up is a faction that sorely needs better representation on iOS: Fallen Kingdom. Their global percentage is pretty pathetic, so I'm going to try to give them a little boost.

Fallen Kingdom - Phantom Menace (much better deck title)

Champions:

Skhull
Anica
Elut-Bal

Commons:

Phantom x3
Zombie x7
Skeletal Archer x2
Reaper x3
Cultist x3

Analysis-

Why Skhull? Skhull is a pretty good all-purpose Champion, with enough muscle to fight an opposing Champion head-on and a power designed to cull the common hordes.

Why Anica? Fallen Kingdom kind of got the shaft when it came to Champion choices (they only have four) so it was pretty easy to chuck the worst of the three original Champs (Dagos) and put in the much better Anica. Sure, it was swagg to cast a Champion with no magic in your pool (via Forced Summon) but Anica's presence can pretty much shut down all opposing common presence. Take that, walls.

Why Elut-Bal? He's 4 attack. Come on.

Why 3 Phantoms? Phantoms are cheap one-magic units that are great for emergency medical attention via Dark Sacrifice or sacrificing for Elut-Bal. Plus they are amazing hail-Mary plays. It doesn't happen every game, but throwing a few phantoms at enemy Champions every game ends up turning some potential losses into crushing victories. You can just feel how pissed the other player is that you stole their Gror across the internet.

Why 7 Zombies? Well, this part of my deck was the one I took the longest refining. I tried more Cultists, more Reapers, but FK are just more effective with more commons on the board, and Zombies are conducive to that. And Zombires are only effective if there are a good number of them for resurrection. The power isn't super-reliable, but it helps.

Why 2 Skeletal Archers? Because I can't take out the starting setup units. Skeletal Archers are actually not that bad, but they do not synergize well with Dark Sacrifice, and since there are three of them in the deck I just would rather get guaranteed magic from those sacrifices.

Why 3 Reapers? They are great meat shields when you're playing defense.

Why 3 Cultists? Because sometimes you need that extra punch. They are fragile and range less though, so for two magic you should have a decent plan for them before fielding them.

How I Play the Deck-

I actually play them almost formulaically. I pretty much always build all my two-magic commons. I pretty much always build Dark Sacrifices if I draw them before I have any Champions in hand. I pretty much always hard summon my Phantoms to control enemy Champions. I pretty much always win WAZZAAAAAAAAAAAP!

Matchups

Vs. Phoenix Elves - As always, it's priority #1 to snipe Elien. The best way to do this is put out a wall and Force Summon Elut-Bal (or equivalent beatstick) in range as a surprise, but you definitely can't count in that. Most of the time you'll have to win by attrition. Don't count on Cultists; they will die to a Burn and you'll be left holding the ashes. Try to save Elut-Bal until toward the end of the game so you don't see him instantly die to Burn/Spirit of the Phoenix combos. Steal Fire Drake and the game is over.

Vs. Tundra Orcs - This is a decent match for FK. TO has trouble killing one of your Champs in one round so you can get some massive mileage from your Dark Sacrifices. Unfortunately, Freezing Ret-Talus is very effective, so you'll just have to resurrect a couple fewer guys that game. Careful with your Cultists, they'll be fodder for Shards.

Vs. Guild Dwarves - Gror will make you miserable, but who DOESN'T he make miserable? Of course, stealing him will win you the game. Losing your walls isn't so scary here since Ret can always summon more fodder.

Vs. Cave Goblins - Breeding ground for Zombies. Park Skhull next to a wall and go to town. Just be careful to cover the sides of your Champions so they don't get instantly merc'ed. Anica decimates these guys.

Vs. Fallen Kingdom - You'll have to get your advantage from your cheap, easily recyclable Phantoms. Anica is great for wiping out swarming commons, but unless they're not deckbuilding at all they'll have the same idea.

Vs. Vanguard - You should have a pretty good time for the first two-thirds of the game, but if the game goes late into the wee hours Serah's healing will give you fits. Try and swarm/crush her walls.

Vs. Cloaks - Another Zombie farm. Be VERY careful if trying to use both Forced Summons in this match, because Cloaks are very good at being able to hit you anywhere.

Vs. Jungle Elves - Not an easy match. Even one Forced Summon can get you killed by a twice-hasted Miti Mumway or Decepted Lioneer. Use Skhull for defense if you can.

Vs. Benders - Another pain in the ass. Ret is so dependent on events that the threat of Mimic just sucks the air out of the room. Just go in fast and furious, knowing that Counter Summoning your Forced Summons will be hugely magic negative and not even remotely practical.

Vs. Mountain Vargath - Skhull can put a serious hurting on these guys. Since Sunderved is in the fray so often, a surprise wall/Force Summon can quickly turn the match in your favor. Just be careful because you cannot match common for common here.

MORE TO COME
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Jeremy Yoder
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You mean "Warrior" rather than "Swordsman." Good analysis.
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Matt Connellan
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JYoder wrote:

You mean "Warrior" rather than "Swordsman." Good analysis.


D'oh!
 
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Chad B
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Good write-up! Thanks and keep 'em coming.
 
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Matt Connellan
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Updated the OP to include my fallen Kingdom build.
 
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Alea jacta est
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Funny thing is different personalities will play the same deck differently. As such, different deck make-ups work for different people. Nevertheless, I loved reading the post and analysis. I wish there more of these! Exceptionally well written.

Ironically I have tried a PE deck where Holleas is the vehicle that drives the deck. I ended up dumping Holleas because if you don't get him it can be a long slog. Spending one magic point to get him (Hero is Born) makes him technically a 5-cost champ. And too many times have I discarded those Fire Beasts. Like you said, you have to play defense with PE. And rarely do I have the luxury of saving up for Fire Beasts. Magic Drains seem to be a card that can save you, whereas in Guild Dwarves it can be used in less of a reactionary manner and more of a planned manner.

However, I concede that it just may be the way I play PE. Fallen Kingdom - Phantoms. Ugh! Man when these dweebs work they can literally win the game for you. But at a 1/6 shot you cannot count on them. I find people will spend a lot of resources to stay away from them and that alone may be their best weapon. The fact that they sometimes work is more of a bonus than an ultimate reason for me to use 'em. I don't have any in my FK decks. When they fail you essentially give the opponent 1 magic.
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Matt Connellan
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Maddest Hatter wrote:
Funny thing is different personalities will play the same deck differently. As such, different deck make-ups work for different people. Nevertheless, I loved reading the post and analysis. I wish there more of these! Exceptionally well written.

Ironically I have tried a PE deck where Holleas is the vehicle that drives the deck. I ended up dumping Holleas because if you don't get him it can be a long slog. Spending one magic point to get him (Hero is Born) makes him technically a 5-cost champ. And too many times have I discarded those Fire Beasts. Like you said, you have to play defense with PE. And rarely do I have the luxury of saving up for Fire Beasts. Magic Drains seem to be a card that can save you, whereas in Guild Dwarves it can be used in less of a reactionary manner and more of a planned manner.

However, I concede that it just may be the way I play PE. Fallen Kingdom - Phantoms. Ugh! Man when these dweebs work they can literally win the game for you. But at a 1/6 shot you cannot count on them. I find people will spend a lot of resources to stay away from them and that alone may be their best weapon. The fact that they sometimes work is more of a bonus than an ultimate reason for me to use 'em. I don't have any in my FK decks. When they fail you essentially give the opponent 1 magic.


You're right that different people play the decks differently, which is why I included some tips on how I play these decks. They are really just a way to get people to try the decks out. If they play my builds and the builds and advice work for them - score! If they play the builds and they're like "uh, no" then they can just go back.

I know these decks CAN work though, due to refining them over about a hundred games each.

Regarding a few of your specific points:

Holleas being 5 magic champ if you use Hero is Born: sort of. Because using that card to get her early has an opportunity "cost" that makes it worth it. Some games with this deck I just build Magic Drains for magic.

Regarding the Phantoms: you're right, their ability doesn't always work. But their ability maybe working is still the best common ability FK has. In addition to them being high-priority targets and cheap and efficient fuel for sacrifices I have found them to get quite a bit of mileage, even if they do head atraight into the dumpster. Because they can still attack if they fail, too!
 
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